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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

ALEXANDER  VON HUMBOLDT.                137
internal connexion of apparently foreign phenomena.,
is clearly xinderstood, and how Humboldt has gradu-
ally introduced us to those great natural laws wMclh
rule in the apparently anomalous whole, and which
had :been  hitherto  concealed from  the  eye   of the
student/'    Hxunboldt's travels are not written for the
great public, and therefore they have all been modi-
fied by other writers for the popular taste ; but these
modifications even are only intelligible to the more
intellectual reader, and can only be appreciated by
him.      Every man,   even  the   illiterate  follower   of
material interests, knows the name of Humboldt,, but
liis works are only read by the thinkers, for it is not
Humboldt's manner to describe his personal adven-
tures on his travels, and afford that amusement, which
the travels and voyages of many others are intended
to awaken.    His descriptions are all distinguished for
their real scientific character, which requires intelli-
gence, education, and serious reflection in the reader.
The results of the Asiatic journey, which Humboldt
has given in his work on Central Asia, are very various,
and cannot yet be combined under one common head.
The most important new investigations which have
liere led to further inquiries, are the treatise on the
mean altitude of the great continent of the earth, on
the table-lands of the interior of Asia, on the mountain
system of Knesslun, on the depression of the Caspian
Sea, and its environs, below the level of the ocean;
also historic-geographical investigations into the for-
mer course of the River Oxus^ and communications on
the boundary of perpetual snow.     Besides this, the
work contains plates, which give the mean tempera-
ture of more than three hundred places, and besides
the voluminous geognostic revelations of the Ural, the
volcanos, the beds of gold, and on the produce of the
gold washings in the Ural districts, and in Siberia, on
the diamonds in the mountains, there are explanatory
essays by  Stanislaus  Julien,   on   Chinese  historical
sources, additions by Klaproth, on volcanos, notes by
"Valenciennes., on the sea-dogs of the Caspian Sea, &c.